What's in a Fender CS...? (Other than electronics)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geekrock, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. geekrock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Montreal, QC

    If you take aside the pickups, pots, cap etc.... Is there a difference between for exemple a standard american Fender and a CS in let's say the selection or wood treatment??

    Like, if you'd take a great playing alder body / rw fingerboard standard P and put after,arket pickups, would you get similar results? Or is there something else to it?
  2. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    My friends work at the Custom Shop...They say that the wood used is a much higher quality and more expensive...and this has been my experience as well owning both MIA and CS Fenders. CS Fender bodies are made from 2 pieces of wood, American production models are made from 3 or 4. The necks on CS basses are Quarter sawn...the grain runs in the opposite direction as a production Fender (excluding the 'Select' series). Quarter Sawn necks are more stable, and the wood is more expensive. The craftmanship is also superior imo as well, although, the craftmanship on 2008 and newer MIA and MIM Fenders has been highly elevated. Hope this helps.
  3. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA

    The fit, finish and overall quality of my team built jazz is much better than production models. And the quality of that bass doesn't come close tinny master built P. Both basses are outstanding in every possible way.
  4. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington

    As well as CS basses can be team built or masterbuilt, meaning 1 person builds it, box to wire. Whatever the case, the luthiers that work in the custom shop are the finest in the employ of Fender. These are not assembly line basses.
  5. geekrock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    Thanks man! That's a great and clear answer.

    With that said, I didn't know there was different quality of a same wood type. And that brings up a question of what quality of wood was used back in pre-CBS days. I always were under the impression that, although they came to be the reference soundwise, pre-CBS basses were your basic run of the mill instruments.

    In fact I remember reading here somewhere that Leo was very frugal and sometimes built basses with 3-4 pieced bodies. That might also explain why some were great and some not so.
  6. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    The other big thing if you buy a new CS Fender..
    Lifetime warranty and specialised support. Mine developed a crack in the fret board, they arranged for it to be picked up here in Australia and fedexed to the custom shop for repair, all at their cost.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I'm guessing the wood is selected more carefully on CS basses for sure.. I have a couple of American Standard Jazz Basses and the bodies are made of 2-pieced wood on both (one is alder the other, ash). The newer ones are made of 3-pieced wood mostly.
  8. My '64 pre-CBS P-Bass has a FIVE-piece body!!! It still kills, though.
  9. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef is modulating in time. Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    I'm not a luthier or a wood expert, just a Fender nut. But I've always heard how the wood was supposed to be way better back then. But then again, that's the same for everything.. cars, music, etc.. Is it all just nostalgia or not? That's for you to decide. Or maybe the wood they got for their run of the mill instruments in the '50s was more like the quality of the wood the custom shop uses on their production models today? I dunno.

    However IMO, I do believe a vintage instrument doesn't necessarily sound the same today as it did 50 years ago. The wood dries out over the years, and the magnets in the pickups demagnetize a little, and I believe over time it can become a more resonant, warmer, and better sounding instrument. I know some may disagree with me on this, but I've never heard a CS relic sound like a real bonafide pre-CBS bass.. never.. ever. I think the CS does a fantastic job at getting close. But if you've ever owned a good pre-CBS bass, they sound like nothing else. YMMV.
  10. geekrock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    The question now, and one we can't verify, is do the CS of today sound similar to a new pre-CBS when it was just out of the shop back in the day.